The LaFesta Committee presented a commemorative color drawing of the festival grounds to the Lackawanna County Commissioners in recognition of their support for the past 40 years of preserving this annual Italian-American heritage tradition.
Participants at the ceremony were, from left: Joseph Castrogiovanni, LaFesta treasurer; Commissioner Jerry Notarianni, Commissioner Patrick M. O’Malley and Christopher DiMattio, LaFesta president.
Honestly, if one more person tells me there is nothing to do around here, I might blow a gasket. If it’s true we are a wasteland, why can’t I find the time to fit in everything that I would like to see and do?
As a board member of the Scranton Shakespeare Festival, which wrapped up its fifth season this past July, I know how frustrating it is to hear people complain. In partnership with the University of Scranton, we offer free professional theater ranging from Shakespeare (of course) to original plays (one of which moved to an Off-Broadway theater last fall), musicals, operettas, and modern plays. In our five years you might have seen A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Pirates of Penzance, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Robin Hood: The Musical, and many, many more. (Look it up at http://www.scrantonshakes.com or like us on Facebook.)
You can bring your whole family without paying a penny. SSF fulfills the vision of former West Sider and University of Scranton grad, Michael Bradshaw Flynn. Now based in New York, this young man, who is still in his twenties, devotes a great deal of time to this theatrical venture every summer, when he isn’t appearing in or directing Off-Broadway shows, or working with some of the time names in the business such as Julianne Moore, Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, F. Murray Abraham and Rupert Grint. He is directing an original show at this moment, and at the same time is assistant to famed Broadway director Jack O’Brien as they mount a revival of The Front Page, opening soon. Whew!
In only its second year, Scranton Fringe Festival promises a wide range of up to 50 performances in various venues from Sept. 29 to Oct. 3. Its first year was a huge hit and saw over 3,000 people racing around from one performance to another. This festival is the brainchild of Elizabeth Bohan and Conor O’Brien–who has his hands in many artistic ventures in the area, and even presented his own version of Hamlet at the Cultural Center last year. Go to http://www.scrantonfringe.org to see a long list of events planned for the four-day extravaganza, including a piece called Relationship written by Joe McGurl of Dunmore. Also look up scrantonstoryslam.com while you’re at it.
And there is also Ghostlight Productionsbased at South Abington Park which also offers free Shakespeare in the park every June. I have always enjoyed this troupe of players founded by the delightful and multi-talented husband-and-wife team Jonathan and Rachel Luann Strayer. They just presented an innovative version of Julius Caesar for this year’s audiences. Past shows have included Much Ado About Nothing, The Merry Wives of Windsor and Twelfth Night. Ghostlight also will present The Poe Asylum at this year’s Fringe Festival.
Every August, there is the Scranton Jazz Festival, featuring top musicians–I can’t even tell you how many acts have played the Electric City under the auspices of this dedicated organization. Plan to put it on your calendar next year.
And First Friday is a very popular event which presents art and entertainment throughout the City of Scranton — many people mark this on their monthly calendar.
In July, there is Arts on the Square, featuring over 150 vendors wrapped around Courthouse Square in Downtown Scranton, along with two stages of live music, interactive art, food, and a farmers market.
With La Festa Italiana just over, now it is time for the fall season to launch, and it’s chock full of entertaining things to do, starting with the Dearly Departed Players annual Dunmore Cemetery Tour slated this year for October 2 and 9 at 2 p.m. Thousands of people attend this informative and entertaining event each year, walking through the grounds and enjoying theatrical vignettes about some of the people interred there. Again, admission to this event is free. See a related story and photos elsewhere in this issue of The Dunmorean.
Broadway Theatre League is touting one of its best seasons ever –you can buy season tickets and see Once, Cinderella, Pippin, Jersey Boys and Rent, at a fraction of what you would pay in New York City. You can also buy individual seats for these wonderful offerings. Go to Ticketmaster to order seats.
Bonfire at the Iron Furnaces will burst on the scene on October 15 with entertainment for the entire family–everything from bagpipers to a German oompah band, pumpkin decorating, Halloween style activities, and much more. For the full line-up go to http://www.scrantonbonfire.com.
Don’t forget our wonderful Northeastern Philharmonic, which presents varied concerts throughout the year, culminating in its Fourth of July Spectacular in the summer at Scranton’s Courthouse Square and at Kirby Park in Kingston. Also planned is a focus on Beethoven, along with Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, Haydn, Copland, Bach, Dvorak and Mozart’s Requiem, along with a Pops series including Wicked Divas, A Night at the Oscars, and Piano Men (saluting Elton John and Billy Joel music).
Community theater has always been strong in Northeastern Pennsylvania, including Actor’s Circle ( presenting The House of Blue Leaves Sept. 15-25), Little Theatre of Wilkes-Barre (doing Rock of Ages Sept. 9-25), Music Box Dinner Playhouse in Kingston (doing La Cage Aux Folles Sept. 9-25 and also No Sex Please We’re British and A Christmas Story this season), Diva Theatre at the Olde Brick Theatre, and New Vintage Ensemble. Tickets are inexpensive and the fun factor is high.
By the time winter arrives, we’ll be thinking about the free Nutcracker production by Ballet Theatre of Scranton at Marywood University and ringing in the New Year downtown.
For non-theatergoers, throughout the year there is Railriders baseball, Penguins hockey, high school football, and a multitude of racing events. Outdoor enthusiasts don’t lack for places to climb, kayak, swim, fish, hunt and enjoy nature.
Have you visited the Everhart Museum lately? Or the Anthracite Museum? Taken the Lackawanna Coal Mine tour? Poked around the Catlin House, home base of the Lackawanna Historical Society? Have you taken a train at Steamtown and visited its many exhibits on the history of railroading in Scranton? The Architectural Society often offers tours of notable sites in the the area, and the beautiful Scranton Cultural Center opens its doors for tours by the public. The Electric City Trolley Museum hosts Railfest every year (just finished on Sept. 3 and 4).
This doesn’t even count all the community events –church and fire company picnics, county fairs, university theater and music productions, church oratorios, and barbershop quartets there a Barbershop on Broadway concert in Honesdale in October if you are interested.)
Do I attend all of these things? Of course not–I can’t possibly get to everything — but I never complain that there is just nothing to do around here either.
Here is a contact list for some of the organizations mentioned above. If I have forgotten your group, let me know and I’ll give them a plug in the future!
The annual La Festa Italiana will take place over Labor Day weekend, Sept, 4-7, on Courthouse Square in downtown Scranton. The event will feature more than 80 vendors offering great Italian food, and continuous live entertainment. On Friday the festival will begin at 4 p.m. and will feature The Duprees at 7 p.m. For the remaining days of the festival, activities will begin at 11 a.m. The Bronx Wanderers will perform at 6:30 p.m. on Monday.
Keystone UNICO will sponsor a Columbus Day Bus Trip to New York City on Monday, Oct. 12. Boarding will begin at 8:15 a.m. across from the Dunmore Community Center on Monroe Avenue. The bus will then leave to return to Dunmore at 7 p.m. The cost for this trip is $30 per person. To make reservations, call Ann Summa at (570) 842-9336.
On this day, the Columbus Day Association of NYC conducts the largest Columbus Day Parade to be seen. While in New York, trip participants will have the opportunity to see this magnificent and colorful parade that begins at noon and ends at 3 p.m. They can also go to lunch or shop their favorite stores. All will reboard the bus later in the day and head to Arthur Avenue, home to “The Little Italy of The Bronx,” for more shopping and dinner at one of the many Italian Ristoranti to be found in the area.
Boy Scout Fall Registration
Boy Scout Troop 57, chartered by the Mary Mother of God Parish, Holy Rosary Church in Scranton, is gearing up for its fall registration. The Troops meets on Thursdays at the Holy Rosary Center, West Market Street, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Meetings will begin after Labor Day, Sept. 10.
Led by Scoutmaster Eric Meyers, the troop welcomes all boys ages 11-17, beginning in the fifth grade, to visit the troop and see all that scouting has to offer. Enjoying camping, hiking, boating, first aid, participating in community functions and many other activities, each scout can work on badges and rank at their own pace. The troop spends a week each July at Goose Pond Boy Scout Reservation.
Cub Pack 21 Fall Registration
Dickson City Cub Scout Pack 21 will hold their fall registration starting at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 10. Open house will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 24.. Boys can visit any Thursday after those dates. The Open house promises an event full of fun, games and Scout skills. Families are invited to participate. The Cubs have a variety of activities planned this year such the Rain Gutter Regatta, Pinewood Derby and three summer camping options.
Financial aid is available for uniforms and camping, through the Northeastern Boy Scout of America, located on Montage Mountain. Cub Pack 21 holds individual fundraising accounts to benefit Scout activities.
Cub Pack 21 is chartered by Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church and meets at LaSalle Dickson City Campus on Thursdays. All boys in grades one through five are encouraged to join.
A Ladies Auxiliary meeting with be held at 7 p.m. on Sept. 11 at Post 3474 Dunmore.
Cancer Survivors Day
Cancer survivors, patients, caregivers, oncology medical professionals and healthcare professionals are invited to connect and reunite at the 23rd Annual Cancer Survivors Day hosted by the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute.
This year participants can choose between two locations/dates for the event. Cancer Survivors Day will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 12, at Kirby Park in Wilkes-Barre and from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 26, at McDade Park in Scranton.
Each event will include the Circle of Survivors, an activity where those in attendance will be able to share a thought or inspirational message about their experience with cancer. Additionally, there will be a survivor’s banner, which all attendees can sign, survivor and caregiver ribbons and pins, autograph books/programs and light refreshments.
To register, please call the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute at (1-800) 424-6724 or visit www.cancernepa.org.
Cyril and Methodius Ukrainian Catholic Church of Olyphant will host its fifth annual Rummage Sale on Sept. 18-20 at a new location: the St. Cyril’s Grade School Gym, at 133 River St., Olyphant. The sale will begin at 8 a.m. each day. There will be a raffle with donations from local restaurants, retail stores at the event.
For information regarding donations from yard sales, rummage sale, estate sales etc., contact Lauren Telep at (570) 383-0319 or Father Nestor Iwasiw at (570) 489-2271.
Build Your Influence Summit
Build Your Influence Summit is a two-day conference is geared towards bloggers and entrepreneurs looking to grow their influence by developing skills needed to cultivate relationships with brands and other entrepreneurs. With sessions geared towards improving photography to learning more about SEO and social networking strategies, there is sure to be something for influencers at any level. The conference will be held on Sept. 26-27 at the Aquatopia Resort at Camelback Resort.
The Build Your Influence Summit is the brainchild of two bloggers, Jenna Urban of Bucktown Bargains and Megan Galko of NEPAMom.com, who realized that their Influence is more powerful when they work together.
Join The Lackawanna Historical Society at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 30 at the Circle Drive-In Theatre in Dickson City for a tribute to Scranton native and legendary film star Lizabeth Scott.
The event will be featuring the 1947 film “Dead Reckoning” with Humphrey Bogart and the 1957 film “Loving You”, in which Scott appeared with Elvis in his first starring role. LHS Trustee Richard Leonori will offer a short introduction about the life of Lizabeth Scott. Tickets will be $8 per person and will be sold at the event. More information can be found on the event page on Facebook titled: “Classic Movie Night Liz Scott Film Festival.”